Trump Set to Impose Steel Tariffs Amid Threats of Retaliation


U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign off on the steel tariffs Thursday afternoon.

"Thanks to these actions, we reoriented our imports of steel to North America, showing that it is possible to address this problem and to comply with our worldwide commitments within the framework of the World Trade Organization", the government said.

"Many of the countries that treat us the worst on trade and on the military are our allies, as they call them", he complained.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday said Canada and Mexico could be exempted from new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the us, subject to a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

However, he said "real friends" of the United States could win waivers from the measures, which come into force after 15 days.

Trade experts argue that Trump is taking aim at the wrong target and that he is inviting a conflict that will serve no one. "We have large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada".

Canadian Trade Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne told Reuters his country would not accept any duties or quotas from the United States.

The world's second-biggest economy, China, was also vocal in its opposition, deriding the tariffs as "a serious attack on normal worldwide trade order". The business group said the waiver of the tariffs should be made permanent and not be linked with the outcome of the NAFTA renegotiations.

Another casualty in a pending trade war will be American exporters.

While the newly-imposed tariffs will cause the price of steel and aluminum to go up here in America, other commodities will take a hit as well, including agriculture.

She won support from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Canada meanwhile expressed concern that "the United States might be opening a Pandora's Box that we would not be able to close", according to the official.

President Donald Trump says his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports fulfills a key campaign promise. "So if we impose a 25 percent tariff, all we are doing is treating them exactly as they treat us".

Trump said the domestic steel and aluminum industry has been "ravaged by aggressive foreign trade practices".

In Sydney, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said there is no case for imposing tariffs on Australian steel. China is the world's largest producer of "met coal", but it consumes it all and buys more from overseas, including from the U.S. Australia is also a major exporter of metallurgical coal.

Beijing vowed to "firmly defend its legitimate rights and interests".

In Michigan, those most impacted include automakers, the craft beer industry - companies like Founders Brewing Co. - and also furniture makers like Steelcase, which said in a statement that the tariffs will have "negative and unintended consequences". He singled out Germany for criticism both for its large trade surpluses with the United States and because it remains below the 2 percent North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending target.

Last year, China imported 3.2 million tonnes of USA coal, worth about $420 million and almost five times the amount it took in 2016.

A White House spokesman didn't immediately return an email seeking comment after Trump's tweet Thursday.

"Remember, we're the biggest supplier of steel to the USA but we're also the biggest buyer of their steel and we also have to remember that if you get higher steel and aluminum prices in the United States, you're going to have big job losses from industries that use aluminum and steel".

The administration clarified this week that Canada, the largest single source of imported steel (about 16 percent), would be exempt, as would Mexico (about 9 percent). If the ill-fated direction toward trade tariffs for Canadian steel and aluminum is forged, retaliation will be necessary.

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